Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Retirement is for the young

Working until you are too old and decrepit to enjoy life is just crazy. Besides, haven't you heard the younger people are looking for jobs? Get the heck out of there while you can still walk and GO SOMEPLACE.

This is what my brain told me most days when I was still working, but I could not see myself sitting home and rusting out. Still, when the calendar flipped over to my 62nd birthday, I was so outta' there! Well, almost. They convinced me to help out in another department for a few more weeks and continued to call me back (which I politely declined) for the better part of a year. No way! I was too busy.

The final straw for me was seeing that my grandchildren needed after-school care and extra attention that their divorced parents were not able to provide. During the four years that followed, my schedule changed more times than a teen aged girl changes her clothes. With four active children spaced two years apart (in the beginning, the youngest was seven) I had my hands full most days.

During the school year, my mornings were my own. I was free to walk the dog, clean house, catch up on laundry and even have lunch with a friend on occasion. Then, I discovered a wonderful retired teacher who tutored students after school. Due to failing eyesight and general aging problems, she needed transportation and other forms of help. We struck a bargain. She would tutor if I would drive. It was a marvelous contract and the child who received her attention was changed into a reader forever. The other three did not feel they needed help unfortunately. Anyway, there went my bit of free time.

By this time I had eBay sales filling my spare time in the evenings and early mornings and every tiny crack in the day too. When summers rolled around, scheduling made a major overhaul of everyone's plans necessary. We learned as we went along what to do for fun, what was inexpensive and what was out of the question.

Now the youngest is 11 and the oldest is 17. I imagine this was my last summer vacation with these kids but we have formed bonds like nothing I could have imagined. Maybe they will still want to go on summer trips with us. I hope so!

Well, tomorrow is Wednesday, AKA Darren Day, so dubbed because my 18 month-old grandson Darren comes to spend the day with me. I sure am glad those older grandkids got me broken in and softened up. Now I know what to expect... the unexpected!

No comments: